“You’re not going to be sleeping on a mattress surrounded by empty bottles of Mountain Dew. A daddy who has their life together enough to take care of another person is probably more emotionally mature than a twentysomething dude might be.”If ’s hit status suggests any one thing, though, it's that entrenched ideas about what kind of games can be successful and who wants to play them have less to do with reality and more to do with the self-fulfilling prophecy that the industry has become.
“The argument ‘oh, I don’t know if it’s going to sell’ isn’t going to fly anymore," Gray says.
is an unabashedly queer game, but not performatively so; it's far more interested in being than announcing.
Some of the dads have had relationships with women before, some with men, but there's no agonizing about their sexual orientation and no more mention of it than there would be in a traditionally heterosexual romance.
Gray notes that while queer people—along with women and people of color—have long been expected to sympathize with straight, white cis characters, the mainstream games industry remains reluctant to ask the reverse.
And yet, this presumed lack of empathy or imagination hasn’t stopped lots of people outside the LGBT community from playing and helping make it a hit.“This is a very queer game, but it has legs longer than what a lot of people might have considered niche,” Gray says.
“A lot of times with dating sims it’s a matter of getting a read on the character’s personality and telling them exactly what they want to hear,” Gray says.
“That's a really frustrating way to play a game.”, though, encourages players not to think about romance as a game at all.“Dads are such a universal, emotional thing for people, whether you have a good or bad relationship with your father, or no father in your life,” Gray says.“I think we all have really complex emotions toward [them].”She also thinks there’s a particular appeal for millennials who are accustomed to dating less … “A daddy isn’t going to forget their wallet,” Gray says.Spend a little more time with them, however, and these facades dissolve, revealing complicated men whose passions, secrets and struggles cannot be neatly contained in cookie-cutter character types.Yes, the Goth Dad enjoys cloaks and long walks in graveyards, and the Jock Dad loves getting in his reps at the gym—but they both struggle to cope with rebellious children, shattered marriages, and the parts of their lives that they are ashamed to share with the world.You can try to impress the music nerd or the academic with knowledge you don't have, but chances are your fakery will fall flat.